I am going to enjoy life after 50 if it kills me!

Posts tagged ‘fifth graders’

5th Grade People

This past week has not been tremendous for me, but now that it’s over, I realize how trivial my complaints are.  Sick dog, uncooperative classes and migraine flair-up.  Which means no one is deathly ill, no one has been condemned to a horrible fate… nothing much to complain about.  And I really do like my students this year.  They are an interesting lot, with curiosity and enthusiasm.  That’s what I’m looking for in a fifth grader, after all!


Take NA… She’s tall and outspoken.  And loves to be the first in line and the helper.  She’s an average student who enjoys participating.  I wasn’t sure at first, but I’m really growing to like her.

JA… He is a good-looking kid with an easy smile.  He’s also a planner.  The kids earn “STARRbucks” for good behavior and can redeem them for computer time, happy phone call home, game time, candy, pencils, erasers, etc.  He has yet to spend a one, and has them all in a “money clip” made from a large binder clip.  He guards them with his life!

TB… He is an earnest young man who gets a furrowed brow when I have to remind him to behave.  That all changes when he sits next to his best buddy.  He is off-task, goofy, and gets an attitude.  He is also smart and does well when he is away from said best buddy.  They no longer sit next to each other, by the way.

BB… She’s a cute little spitfire and she knows it.  She could talk the ear off an elephant, but tries very hard to stay in my good graces.  She is a struggling reader, but so far seems to enjoy her reading time.  I’m going to work to keep it that way.


And then there’s my boy L.  He’s the one I requested to be in my class.  He has my heart.  When he finds something funny, he gets this amazing little smile and giggle going.  It may save his life.

Short Weeks and Full Moons

Today was one of my less stellar days at work.  I couldn’t wait for the last of my students to get out the door and on their merry ways.

Lest you think I’m one of those bitter, child-hating teachers who is counting the days ’til retirement, on the whole, I love my job, I do love kids, especially 5th graders, and I have over a decade before I am of retirement age.

The forces of evil were hard at work today, however.

First of all, my students had no school on Monday, and have no school tomorrow.  Three days of week sandwiched between two long weekends.  Let’s say many of my cherubs were not particularly focused on academics.  Note passing, edamame throwing (don’t ask), arguing, and mouthing off, but not academics.

Second, last night was a splendid, beautiful, orange full moon.

Today involved one of my mellowest young men throwing his pencil, yelling “You M***** F***er!  and storming out of his Math class.  He’d had all he could take of one of my girls picking and aggravating.  Then there was the constant “Shut up!”  “YOU shut up!” from my last class of the day.  My 12 year old student telling me he wasn’t gonna do what I wanted and he was going back to his homeroom.  I had to physically get in his face and VERY quietly tell him to sit down – repeatedly – before he did.  Then a kid already in time out kept asking to go to the bathroom because he didn’t want to read.  The third time, I reminded him he was one step from a referral.  Not because of me, but for hitting a child in another class.  I don’t know why he wasn’t already in the office, but that was not my call.  Finally “the last straw” mouthed off to me when I told him to move to another seat.  For some reason, every time he is corrected in any little way, his response is “This is stupid.  It’s (fill in blank here’s) fault.  I didn’t do nothin’.  This is just stupid.  Man, I’m gettin’ outa here.

That’s when I had my short week – full moon meltdown.  The words “I’ve had it!” came flying out of my mouth about the same time my clipboard slammed my desk.  That was followed by “Get out!  Go back to homeroom.  I’m done!”

Not proud of that in the least.  And I apologized to the remainder of the class once the boys were back across the hall with their homeroom teacher, whom I owe big time.  It also made me even more empathetic towards the boy who lost his cool this morning.  One can only be pushed so far.  Thank God I chose to leave the expletives out.  But I can certainly see why my student didn’t.

We all need for this week to be over, and for that moon to start waning.  On Monday, we are all getting a fresh start.

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